Showing posts from August, 2007

La rentree, Labor Day.....

Why don't the English have a word that means time for work in September?

Yes, yes, I know, Labor Day is probably just another reason to send cards and generate income for the card companies now, but the spirit is there; time to tidy away the garden toys, sew on the labels that have lain dormant for 12 months and to collect together all the equipment of your wintertime job. As a teacher, I have never got away from that back-to-school feeling (including the last sleepness night before the first day; if there are any children reading this and panicking over the start of school, please do remember your teacher probably is, too!) and the mad rush to do just one more thing before the servitude descends. I love the smell of a new pencil case, especially if you get a filled case where the sharp plastic smell combines with the sandalwood of pencils and fills your nostrils with that sweetest smell of an unused eraser. I love the first time I write with a new pencil, the first names written o…

A change is as good as....

There is something about visiting other peoples' houses that makes you re-examine your own, at least with me there is. Part of the reason I love blogging and reading blogs is the excuse to be nosy without being really nosy... I don't get to open your cupboards, peek under the bed or ask questions about how and why you got this or that.

Last week I had the best opportunity to rethink my house, with a week in a borrowed welsh cottage.

The house is about 100 metres from the sea, which you reach down a steep cliff path. It has a panoramic view to die for and an Aga. Once a year we borrow it and, for that week, I am the farmer's wife of my childhood dreams, using an Aga everyday, washing costumes and letting them dry on the rail and spending a week living somebody elses life. This year I took my inspiration books with me and finished another volume each morning as I woke early and drank a pot of tea before the rest of the family (this is something I never do at home.... but alway…

See the shirt? This is Steven Gerard!

My middley is 7. Yip, it was 7 years ago yesterday (yes, I'm late) that I gave birth to number 2 son. I'd had pains all day, just one occasionally now and then, but Ma offered to take DP overnight to 'give me a rest' and, as soon as she walked out with him, the pains settled down and I knew I was on for the next. After fish & chips with the DH we set out to the hospital at 7pm.

Our local mat unit has a midwife unit where, if you have no problems you can go and I was due to be there, but there were not enough middies, so it was onto the delivery suite for me. We walked into the waiting room to see a dozen worried eyes looking at me anxiously... no, not expectant fathers (most of them are in the rooms at the bedside) These were couples waiting to be induced who had been there since 7 that morning. This was twelve hours later and, apparently there must have been a rush on that day, because not one of them had been induced. They were none too happy to see me, I can tell…

Missin' You already!

Our friends from Abu Dhabi are going back and we will not see them again before the end of the holidays. We only see them once a year, for a couple of playdates and usually at least two birthday parties in the summer.

But.... when the children get together and we finish saying "Gosh! How big!" and "Wow! She talks really well now!" and finish comparing notes on the English State School vs private Abu Dhabi....

It's as if they've never been away. They all disappear and play, and the parents sink exhausted into chairs to discuss how it feels to open a Petrol Station with a pair of scissors and a crowd looking on (that's them, not us) and to have a whole six weeks holiday because supply teachers like ordinary teachers don't work during the holidays (but we don't get paid either. That's the down side.)

And the children just play.

Until next July, dear friends, when we can have a competition as to who gets to say who is tallest first!

When It's hot outside, there's only one thing to do...

Hold a dolls' tea party. The Princess and her friend, in the garden, playing teaparties.

They had that wonderful see-through tea that comes from a bottle, clear milk from the same bottle and copious amount of chocolate cookies, broken into chunks and shared with their inanimate friends.
Well, I say inanimate. I mean they just don't move when I see them.

See poor Little Sarah with her broken arm and leg? She has to go to the beach next week with her plaster and keep it dry.

No, I don't know how either. I'm working on it.

Nice really does matter.

Courtesy of Sue at Random Blethers, I am now the proud owner of a Nice Matters award. Started by Bella Enchanted, this is a friendship award and is given by the recipient to 7 other fellow bloggers who have been nice people, good friends and support in times of need and who inspire good feelings and inspiration. What? Only seven?

I like the word nice, despite the fact that as a teacher I spend hours telling the little brats to try and think of a different word (nice and pretty, the two most overused adjectives amongst girls aged 8 to 11) because it has such a depth of meaning to it. The concise Oxford Dictionary in 1958 (I have my Mum's copy from her years as a student) has a range of meanings for nice that we may or may not recognise as still applying today.

It says that nice means;

1. fastidious, dainty, hard to please, of refined or critical tastes, precise, punctilious, scrupulous or particular eg "must not be too nice about the means"

2. Requiring precision, care tact o…

Tagged by another Joanna

Well, actually I'm a Joanne but I much prefer Joanna. Yip, over at Joanna Bags she put my name down for an 8 tag. I have to have 8 friends to tag as well? Does she think I'm popular ? Blinking heck I can barely manage 8 relations still talking to me sometime. Any way, here we are (no kids since they're on a sleepover so I have 5 spare minutes for a quickie. But since the hubby is at work, I'll settle for posting instead. Apologies to the easily offended) and I have to write 8 things about me.

1. The only car accident I have had so far was with the Chief Constable of Merseyside the night he came out of hospital after a month in for a bad back. He was not driving, it was one of the ultra-trained police drivers and I was only 21 and a new(ish) driver in MY DAD'S CAR. Was I popular that night, I can tell you! Apparently, the other officers in the police station didn't know whether to lock me away for good or give me a medal and use me on the driving training course.…

I'm very proud of this.

It took me a couple of hours yesterday. I took the children to visit my Mum. I plugged in the machine and I got going.
Two hours of very straight line sewing later, I had my bag. It is made from four very coordinated prints, joined in stripes. I lined it with a blue cotton that was not absolutely plain, but mottled so that it also looks much like sky. There are two full width inside pockets separated out into smaller compartments for my sunglasses etc. One is much deeper than the other; in retrospect I should have made them both deep. The shallow pocket (about 4 inches deep) is too shallow to hold anything really heavy in, while a deep pocket will hold a small thing, won't it? I didn't use a pattern, per se, but I did have my other handmade bags which I looked at and thought about, and a copy of Lotta's very popular book. Her tote bag was just too small for my needs, you see.

The handle is attached with a top band of the lining material and then caught between the bag outer…

Chester; one for the children, one for me.

Chester is a beautiful city about 30 miles away from where I live. it is small, quaint, has a walled inner city and a history stretching back 2000 years to the ancient Romans. It also has at least 4 decent charity shops ( seek a good area, find decent picking) and a varied selection of small and chain shops, all within a small walking area.
We usually go there at least once a holiday, justification being that it's not far, the children love the freedom of browsing in a shop where Mummy actually says "Buy any thing you like!" and we usually have at least one child who is doing/has done/will be doing Romans or Medieval or Civil War or any other period of history embraced by the city. The Grosvenor Museum has rooms that are big enough to educate without being too big, a holiday programme that is good for keeping crafty children busy and enough to keep a family busy for a few hours. Add to that the charms of Chester and the other tourist attractions and it can be a full day. …